My Bonsai
is dying!

Revival advise for Bonsai in need

"Help! My Bonsai tree is dying!" Unfortunately, we get cries for help quite often on our forums. So we created a how-to guide on reviving a dying Bonsai. I'll take you through all the steps to rescue your bonsai.

Bad news...
I hate to break it to you, but trees don't generally die of old age, so you most likely messed up a bit. And now that you finally found this page, you’re likely too late...

But there's hope for you yet! How do you revive a bonsai tree?
Bonsai care is not that difficult. However, we estimate that more than 75% of newly bought Bonsai trees die within the first month. Follow the steps below to successfully care for your Bonsai tree.

STEP 1 - Identify your tree

First of all, you need to know what kind of tree you have. Indoor Bonsai have entirely different needs than outdoor Bonsai. You need to adapt the care of your Bonsai to its specific needs. If you're not sure what kind of Bonsai you have, use the Identify my Bonsai guide. If you're just starting out, you most likely have a Juniper or Ficus tree.

Juniper bonsai plant
A popular size and shape of Juniper bonsai.
Ficus Bonsai plant
A Ficus Retusa bonsai with an s-curved trunk.

STEP 2 - Learn about the specific care for your Bonsai

Now that you've identified your Bonsai, learn how to take care of it correctly in our Tree species section. If you happen to have a Ficus or Juniper tree simply click the link underneath the corresponding image above. Once you start watering and fertilizing your tree correctly, and you've found the optimal placement for your specific tree, your Bonsai is on it's way to recovery, and healthy growth.

STEP 3 - Common mistakes in Bonsai care

Now that you've read all about your specific tree-species and how to care for it, you should know what went wrong:

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
A stunning Japanese maple Bonsai (Acer palmatum), see our Bonsai Gallery for more photos.

STEP 4 - If you don't think you made any of the above mistakes

If you've cared for your tree properly as per the care guidelines, and it is still unhealthy and/or dying, your tree may be infected with some kind of pest. Check the leaves of your tree for insects and carefully remove the tree from its pot to see if there are any insects in the root mass. Read more on Pests and diseases or post a few images on our Bonsai forum to get help.

STEP 5 - Rescuing your Bonsai tree

There is no magical cure to help your tree recover. The only thing you can do is follow the care guidelines for your particular tree. Don't neglect or overwater, and place your tree in an appropriate location. Hopefully, your tree will recover, and if you continue to care for your tree, it should live a long and healthy life.

STEP 6 - Long-term plan

Growing Bonsai trees is a fascinating hobby, so it's a real shame when beginners fail to keep their trees alive and get discouraged. Taking care of a Bonsai is not very difficult. Knowing which tree species you have and what your Bonsai needs are is all there is to it. Keep learning and improving!

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Overview of our courses

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Online Bonsai Courses Learn from leading Bonsai experts at your own pace, from the comfort of your living room!